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Campsites in Southampton, Hampshire

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45 bookable campsites within 15 miles of Southampton

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Why visit Southampton?

Introducing Southampton 

Sitting in southern Hampshire, close to the border between South East England and the South West, Southampton is in an excellent location and can be reached from London in roughly an hour and a half. 

The city has its own airport, easy access to two motorways, a ferry terminal serving the Isle of Wight and cruise ships that regularly sail off to far-flung destinations overseas. 

All of these excellent transport links mean that Southampton has traditionally been seen by many travellers as somewhere to go through rather than as a destination in its own right. Read on to find out what Southampton has to offer and why it’s definitely worth your while sticking around. 

Solent city

Visiting Southampton involves being surrounded by lots of the wet stuff. As well as Southampton Water, a large coastal inlet that streams out towards the Solent and the English Channel, the city is home to the rivers Test and Itchen. 

For a waterside stroll, head to the smart Ocean Village quarter for drinks by the marina or to watch some of the world’s biggest cruise ships steaming past. 

You could also head to the port for a scenic ferry ride over Southampton Water to the New Forest village of Hythe, where a shingle beach and narrow-gauge pier railway are well worth investigating. 

Gateway to the New Forest

Southampton is just to the north of the New Forest, making campsites in and around the city well-placed for bike rides, woodland picnics and nature safaris in the national park. 

The village of Ashurst is just a quarter of an hour’s drive from Southampton city centre (or only five minutes if you go by train). Head here for direct access to paths around the stunning Deerleap Enclosure, to visit the New Forest Wildlife Centre or to set off along the Beaulieu river. 

Other popular New Forest spots like BeaulieuBrockenhurstLyndhurst and Lymington can all be reached by road in approximately half an hour. 

Southampton’s best attractions

In town

  • West Quay Shopping Centre – the city’s premier retail park with big brands, food outlets and smaller boutiques.

  • SeaCity Museum – step back in time and discover Southampton’s connections to the sea. Includes an exhibit on the RMS Titanic, the ill-fated ship that left from the port of Southampton back in 1912. 

  • Solent Sky Museum – see over 20 aircraft from the golden age of aviation and learn about Southampton’s role in creating the iconic Spitfire.

  • Tudor House and Garden – an oasis of calm in the bustling city centre showcasing more than 800 years of local history. 

  • Southampton Common – an enormous green space with lawns, woodlands and ponds that’s within easy walking distance of the city centre.

Within half an hour’s drive of Southampton 

  • Paultons Park, Home of Peppa Pig World (20 minutes’ drive): a family-friendly theme park close to the market town of Romsey.

  • Manor Farm Country Park (20 minutes): a wildlife haven where you can get up close and personal with cute farmyard animals. 

  • Winchester Cathedral (25 minutes): visit the world’s longest Gothic cathedral in England’s ancient capital.

  • Marwell Zoo (25 minutes): Penguins? Yep. Tigers? Tick. Giraffes? You bet. This zoo just outside Owslebury has it all. 

  • National Motor Museum (30 minutes): ride the monorail, visit an ancient abbey and visit Beaulieu’s renowned motor museum on a single ticket. 

Unexplored Southampton

Southampton’s best walking trails

The Itchen Navigation is a long-distance trail that follows the river Itchen for around 30 miles from Southampton to the edge of the South Downs National Park. Walking to Winchester via Eastleigh (about 10 miles) makes a very agreeable day out – just follow the river and keep your eyes peeled for birds flitting between the trees. 

Southampton is also where the Test Way starts, a gorgeous riverside route that takes in Eling’s fascinating tide mill, the market town of Romsey and gorgeous landscapes around Mottisfont Abbey. 

Boating bonanzas

Fans of all things nautical flock here every year for the Southampton International Boat Show, a major date in any self-respecting mariner’s calendar. 

You can also head to Southampton at other times of year to become a chartered RIB driver, rent a jetski or – if you prefer to be out of the driving seat – for trips aboard the Steamship Shieldhall, the largest working steamship vessel in Britain.

Hamble and Netley

For a change of scene, head over the Itchen bridge and out of town to the nearby villages of Hamble and Netley. 

Visitors to this fine part of the world will find many riverside pubs, birdwatching spots and abundant kayaking or paddleboarding opportunities. There’s also the chance to visit ancient Netley Abbey, a well-preserved property managed by English Heritage. 

Here’s how

Once you’ve decided to embark on a stay by the Solent, start scrolling through the options on this page to find the Southampton accommodation that’s right for you. We’ve got back to basics campsites near the city centre, family-friendly Hampshire holiday parks and smart glamping options to suit a range of tastes and budgets, but if you’re looking for something specific use the tick-box filters on this page to sort sites by themes and facilities. Our most popular searches include: 

If, on balance, you’d rather find a Hampshire site out in the sticks, have a look at these New Forest options. Fancy another outdoor city break in the surrounding area? Check out accommodation in WinchesterPortsmouth or Bournemouth.